Welcome back to “A Day in the Life of a Crazy Fool.” In Part 2 , I ended with Quiet Time, which is usually over around 1pm, as the children begin sneaking upstairs to see what I’m doing. At this time a couple of things happen: Outdoor Recess and Afternoon School.
As the four middle children have usually completed any necessary “book” work earlier, they now have a choice. They may remain downstairs building their lego castles or reading their books, or they may venture back outside. Most of the time, they scramble outside because my husband built them an ice skating rink.
This is the first year we’ve ever attempted building an ice skating rink, and honestly, I don’t know how we ever survived without one. It has supplied hours and hours of fun. And only one minor accident–Child #3 whacked his head on the ice, resulting in a large bump, which turned into one giant, yellow-brownish bruise. It was nothing serious, though, just a wound to brag about.
So, while the middle children skip and slide around outside and Child #6 naps, the Eldest gets a little one-on-one time with Mom. We work on grammar and writing.
I usually need to sit with her for about twenty minutes, and then I move on to a few domestic tasks while she completes her work. For example, I generally switch out and fold laundry and begin any prep work for supper.
I like to keep our afternoons light and flexible, however, because this is when I schedule activities and appointments. For example, on Tuesdays, the older children attend choir practice. On Thursdays, they have piano lessons. Sometimes we attend PE sessions with a larger group of homeschoolers. Sometimes we invite other families over to visit.
Of course the end of the afternoon requires more work dedicated to supper. (Eating. It’s just a never-ending task!) All the children help with setting the table, and sometimes the older ones do some chopping or other minor prep work.
My husband arrives home around 5pm, and I like the house to be ready for him. I once read somewhere – I think in a Kimberly Hahn book – that if a wife truly loves her husband as Christ, the least thing she could do, would be to greet him when he comes home, at the door. In other words, one must walk over to the door and actually greet him, as you would Christ.
And Now For a Little Harangue
I’ll pause here for a moment. When I read that a few years ago, I was absolutely struck and convicted. For I had been in the habit of not acknowledging my husband – of just continuing whatever I was doing, as if he didn’t matter.
Well, he does matter. I married him after all, and he ought to come before the children and the household chores and all the rest. I can put down the cooking spoon or the baby and walk over to the door, even if I don’t happen to like him at the moment because he was ten minutes late. So what? He is the head of our household, and sometimes, it’s just not about my feelings.
And it’s not always perfect either. Our home is not some Norman Rockwell painting. Yes, babies are sometimes crying and boys are wrestling and girls are whining. Whatever. My husband still ought to come first, and I ought to greet him.
Sometimes this moment can be really fun, by the way. Sometimes I like to surprise him with a martini in hand. I can tell you, when I do something special like that, our evenings are always more fun.
So, any of you wives out there, if you don’t already, I want to strongly encourage you to greet your husbands when they arrive home. Or, if you happen to be a stay-at-home husband, greet your wife when she comes home. For, life is worth living, as the Venerable Fulton Sheen reminds us.